Last month, BBT Architects had the opportunity to tour Ridgeview High School in Redmond, Oregon. Ridgview is a new high school under construction with an opening date set for Fall 2012. Dull Olson Weekes Architects in Portland designed the school, and BBT worked as field administrators.
The high school is a model for a new generation of schools that must be designed to accommodate a rapidly growing population, address new technology, incorporate sustainability and not just include college prep, but expanding fields of study including energy and sustainability technologies.
The capacity of Ridgeview High School is 1,400 students, and has two stories totaling 278,000 square feet. The front doors open to an expansive commons/dining area that acts as somewhat of a rest area between the school’s wings. The recessed concrete floor of the commons is level with the kitchen, culinary lab, school store and snack shop, with a corrugated metal vaulted ceiling, clear stories and pendant lights. The wall opposite the front entry is glazed from floor to ceiling with views to the northwest, allowing for natural light during the school day. The most noticeable feature is a second floor wood-paneled “loft” on the upper right above the commons. The enclosed space has floor to ceiling windows, making it seem like a luxury suite at a football stadium as it appears suspended in the air. The space will be used as a conference area (and likely a watch-dog perch for the principal on rowdy days).
The east wings are home to the library, which is housed in an open rotunda. While the space is just one story, the rotunda opens to the second story above and a circular light well intersected with wood glu lam beams. Medical classrooms, including exam rooms and dental classrooms, are also part of the east wings. There is also a fully equipped video production facility with television and other broadcast capabilities.
The west wing is home to the gymnasium, auditorium and childcare center. The main gymnasium also includes an auxiliary gym on the second floor and a lengthy wrestling room, as well as a fitness and weight room directly below. The auditorium seats over 600, includes an orchestra pit, and is surrounded by separate spaces for a scene shop and black box theater.
The primary structure is constructed using tilt-up concrete walls, and mechanical systems that are new to Central Oregon. Interior materials used include wood paneling with a cherry finish, red brick, stained concrete, corrugated metal, wood beams, steel rods, silver powder-coated metal railings and much, much more. The site also features a full track/football stadium, along with baseball and soccer fields, and tennis courts. The stadium lighting system is controlled somewhere in the Mid West, but can be turned on instantaneously via phone.